On Patience.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it does not argue about kitchen cabinet organization, or how to load the dishwasher “correctly”. It is not proud, it does not grumble about cleaning hair out of the shower drain or throwing out a full carton of expired Almond milk because someone declared that they were going to start making “smoothies for breakfast” and then forgot about it. 

Love is patient. It’s about being patient. The Bible doesn’t really dig into that, it just assumes that you will know how to be patient with someone you love, and you won’t get all pissy just because they forgot to clean the lint trap out of the dryer. 

The lint trap is a hot button issue in our house. Really, the dryer in general is pretty controversial. I won’t get into the politics of “when you should clean out the lint trap” (EVERY. TIME.) or “how many towels you should cram in there before you’re going to break the dryer”, because I know that not everyone agrees with me, and because I’VE never broken a dryer, so I wouldn’t know the answer to that. 

Someone would tell you that it’s okay to stuff twenty towels in there because “they have to get clean”and because “I don’t want to do six loads of towels”.

But, again, we’re not going to get into that. 

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Confessions of A Shopaholic.

“So after we get married, whose bank are we going to use?”

Whose bank are we going to use? Not only do Kyle and I have two separate checking accounts, we have two separate banks. For now. Word on the street is that “married people” have this saying- “It’s not MY money, it’s OUR money.”

Right. But, technically, it is still my money, right?

“Uh…” To say that I hadn’t thought about it would be a lie. I’d thought about it. Of course I’d thought about it. “Mine…” I suggested, “I guess?”

Not like it matters. Eventually he’s going to see how much money I spend on make-up and hair products. Where the bank statement comes from doesn’t really matter.

“But here’s the thing,” I said – because I have nothing to hide – “Maybe we should still have separate accounts. Like, we can have a joint account – you know, for bills and groceries, but then we’ll each have our own SEPARATE account too… for, other things. You know, personal things.”

“Personal” things. I sound like a fifteen year old girl who’s embarrassed that she has to buy tampons. This man is going to be my husband. What could I possibly have to hide from him?

Besides the fact that if he saw a $130 charge to Sephora pop up on our “shared bank statement”, he’d probably have some questions. Like “Why did you spend $130 at Sephora? Isn’t that a make-up store?” And when I say “I needed some moisturizer”, he’s going to ask me why I need moisturizer that costs $130 and “can’t you find something cheaper?” and when I say “but this is the Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior moisturizer with retinol”, he’ll ask “So? Don’t they sell moisturizer at Walmart?” and then he’s going to try to make me buy the moisturizer at Walmart.

You guys. I can’t start buying my moisturizer at Walmart. It may have worked for me when I was a teenager, but I’m thirty now. I need the hard stuff.

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One Day in San Francisco.

Chick flicks and “fun beach reads” will lead you to believe that couples who go away on vacation together always have a super romantic time. A “romantic getaway” they call it.

I don’t know about you, but when Kyle and I go on vacation – we usually just end up bickering about the traffic, or the crowds, or “what time is check-out?” since SOMEONE always seems to forget that check-out is at 11 – even though “check-out is ALWAYS at 11”, but we probably won’t be ready by then because SOMEONE is still in the bathroom.

Our first trip to San Francisco was…. kind of romantic? I guess? It was romantic when Kyle paid some guy to switch seats on the flight home so that he could sit next to me. In a middle seat. While I used his shoulder as a pillow and spent the entire four hours blowing my nose (because OF COURSE I’d woken up with a sinus infection that morning and proceeded to go through airport security with a box of tissues.) Not only did he opt for a crappy middle seat by his sniffly, disgusting fiancé – he went out of his way to hold my hand and let me rest my head on his shoulder, even though I had snot dripping out of my face. If that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is.

Our time in San Francisco was short. We did MOST of the touristy stuff – like take pictures at The Golden Gate Bridge, and Pier 39, and Lombard Street, and we saw the cable cars and the “Painted Ladies” houses and hung out at “that one park across from the Painted Ladies – you know, the one they showed in Full House?” (Alamo Square).

We rented a car for the day. I had reserved something like a Ford Focus (or whatever the equivalent to “economy” was), but when the guy asked us “what kind of car wanted”, he somehow talked us into upgrading. Which wasn’t very hard once Kyle responded with “something fun” to the “what do we want” question, and the guy said, “How about this Chevy Camaro convertible?” and Kyle said “Sold!”


(I act like I’m blaming this all on my fiancé. In reality, I heard “convertible” and said “Ooh!!” and then Kyle said “Sold!” What can I say, we’re a couple of yuppies.)

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On Hiring A Wedding Planner.

Can you handle planning your own wedding? Of course you can. Which is not to say that it will be “easy” – you’ll need excellent time management skills, a Monica-Gellar-level passion for organization, and a notebook. Kyle and I bought a notebook shortly after we got engaged that we deemed “The wedding notebook” where we were only allowed to write “wedding things”. (Five months later we have two pages scribbled with notes like “Flowers?” and “Music….. guitar? Violin. GUITAR.”)

If you have the time, and you’re “into” it – so, you’re not going to roll your eyes every time someone asks you about your ‘color scheme’ – you can plan your own wedding, no matter how busy you are, even if you have a full time job and you travel and you have a life outside of “wedding stuff”.

“But I’m REALLY busy.” I told Kyle, this is back when I was trying to convince him that we “needed” a wedding planner. “Plus we’re getting married in California – and I’m trying to plan everything from Chicago? I don’t really *know* California. I need to find someone who *knows* California. How else am I going to, like, find a florist and a minister and stuff?”

There’s also Google. But. That’s not as fancy as being able to say that you have “a wedding planner”, now is it?

So we justified our decision to do a destination wedding in California because we were going to find someone “locally” to do all of the planning. She will be the J-Lo in that movie “The Wedding Planner”. (Except she won’t sleep with my fiancé. Is that what that movie’s about? I don’t remember, it’s been awhile.) She will take all of my vendor meetings, respond to all of my emails, be in charge of set-up and tear-down of our decorations, and keep me in check the day-of so I’m not late to my own wedding.

OR maybe she won’t do any of that, and she’ll just forward emails to me from the florist that say “See below”. Because, honestly, I think that’s what a wedding planner actually does.

Maybe not ALL wedding planners do this? But that’s what ours did. She was really just one more person that I had to copy on emails. And when I asked her things like, “Do you have any recommendations for this area?” – she would take over a week to respond, and finally come back with some venue that offered “portable toilets”.

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On possibly-maybe building a house.

We don’t know anything about building a house. One day last summer, Kyle dragged me through a “model home” for a builder company that has homes popping up all over Chicagoland. “It’s just for fun,” he said. “Just to get ideas.”

And it was fun. And boy, oh boy, did it give me ideas.

The open floor plans. The stone fireplace. The shiplap “accent wall”. The fake-wood floor that looks like a real wood floor. “The can lighting is nice”, Kyle said. I didn’t even know what “can lighting” was until we started this adventure – but now I’ve realized that I can’t live in a house without it.

I know this because, after we sat down and started “building our house” with the builder rep last weekend, I asked her what the “alternative” was if we didn’t do can lighting. Because apparently can lighting – much like pull handles and stair railings and granite counter tops – would be “extra”. “You’ll have a switch with an outlet,” she said. “So you could just plug a lamp into it. And it would be on the switch.”

I don’t know why I was expecting her to say “uh, different lights?” Instead our only other option is a lamp. On a switch. And I’m assuming they don’t give you the lamp as a housewarming present. So, the alternative to can lighting is no lighting.

“We’ll need can lights in every room.” I said. “Add that to the list.”

“The list” started filling up fast with things like – stainless steel appliances, “Group 2 cabinets” (because that’s where the white cabinets are), brushed nickel faucets, a 4-ft garage extension, the fake-wood vinyl floor that looks like real-wood-and-not-vinyl, the French doors for my office, plumbing for the basement, one of those blower/fan/exhaust things in the kitchen…? It’s supposed to help with smoke, I guess, when you’re cooking. I don’t know, that one was Kyle’s idea. Apparently he thinks I’m going to be doing a lot of cooking.

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On Writing A Novel.

“I want to write a book.”

This is one of those things that can be kind of scary to tell people. “You want to write a… book?” they’ll ask. “About what?” And then what am I supposed to say – “I don’t know”…? Because that’s the God’s-truth-honest-answer: I want to write a book, I just don’t know what it’s about. Yet.

“That can be your first line.” Kyle said. “‘I want to write a book, but I don’t know what it’s about.'” I’d been hesitant to tell him. (And when I say ‘hesitant’, I mean hesitant for about five minutes. It was too exciting NOT to tell him! I’m going to write a book! I think!) But what’s he going to say? I thought. What if he doesn’t believe me? Why WOULD he believe me? What aptitude have I shown that proves I’m capable of WRITING A BOOK?

“You should.” Kyle said. “I think you’d be good at it.”

I’d thought he was going to say, “Hah. Right.” or “Sure – what’s it going to be about? Shoes?” Or worse – the same thing one of my friends had told me years ago when I’d told her I wanted to write a book – “Oh come on, Jenn, you’re not smart enough to write a BOOK.” (True story.) But he didn’t say any of that – he, without hesitation, was SUPPORTIVE.

Which threw all of the excuses that I had lined up “I really think I could do it!” and “I’ll show you!” – well, it threw them right out the window. Because it turns out my fiancé is a supportive, kind human. (Which are two things that you really want in a fiancé.)

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